What is Cortisol and How Does it Affect You?

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Commonly known as the “stress hormone”, Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands as part of our “fight or flight” mechanism. In addition to its role in stress response, cortisol also plays a role in other bodily functions such as metabolism, blood pressure regulation, and immune system function. Normal levels are critical for maintaining steady energy throughout the day. However, when we are chronically stressed, the body releases excessive cortisol at all hours and contribute to health problems such as

— Insomnia and poor sleep
— Weight gain, excess belly fat
— Chronic low energy & mental fogginess
— Mental Health issues such as anxiety or depression
— Food addiction

Understand your own Cortisol Curve

1. High Cortisol in the Early Morning

This could be happening if:

  • You rarely sleep through the night
  • Your mind is racing the moment you wake up
  • You’re edgy and confrontational in the mornings
  • Your energy crashes and burns sometime around midmorning

2. High Cortisol throughout the Day

If cortisol levels stay elevated, you’re wired but your adrenals are getting tired. It feels like:

  • You’re constantly behind schedule and racing to catch up
  • You’re exhausted and hyper at the same time
  • People comment on how fast you talk
  • You’re easily irritated and feel little enthusiasm for anything

3. High Cortisol Levels in the Evening

Some common indications of high evening cortisol levels are:

  • Falling asleep is nearly impossible and can take hours
  • You worry in the evenings or feel especially argumentative
  • You distract yourself by spending a lot of time online, watching TV, or working out at night — which can lead to self-defeating cycle of even higher evening cortisol

4. Low Cortisol throughout the Day

Low Cortisol levels throughout the day

Some indications of low cortisol are:

  • You’re dragging through each day, even after plenty of sleep.
  • It takes high-octane coffee or intense exercise to pull you up — but it doesn’t last.
  • You fall asleep everywhere, including work meetings.

Restore your Cortisol Balance

Managing stressors, getting proper nutrition and having better sleep all plays a part. It might feel a little overwhelming but we are here to guide you through this process.*

Here are some workshops and treatments that are designed to support your healing journey:

1. Nutrition and Function Medicine

Consults our in-house nutritionist to address a variety of acute and chronic conditions. Functional medicine is a systems biology-based approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of the illness.

2. Contrast Therapy Workshops: Wim Hof Method (monthly classes available)

3. Deep Sleep Masterclasses

4. Counselling and Psychotherapy

Consult a therapist to develop a better understanding of yourself and stress patterns. Empower yourself with the appropriate tools to respond to current challenges in life and address your stress.

5. Craniosacral Therapy

A gentle and deeply restorative form of manual therapy that uses light touch and subtle movements to support your central nervous system and body’s innate ability to balance, restore and heal.

*Sliding Scale prices are available for those in need